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Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

Santiago, Chile
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Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

Hi everyone!

Me and some friends are planning a trip to the US during January-February 2013. And hope to see as much as possible; historical places, museums, sightseeing, both cities and the country side, places to eat local food, etc.

We plan to arrive to NYC stay there a while and rent a car to travel around.

We'll be staying in NYC from January 14th up to the 25th (more or less) and then plan to travel around New England to arrive at Quebec for their winter festival (February 1st to 17th), then visit Toronto and Niagara Falls and finally return to NYC.

Any must-see in the road? we plan to visit Boston on the way to Canada and sleep on hostels or motels on the road, but we don't know what else is there to see around, especially given the fact that we'll be travelling during winter.

Our schedule is pretty flexible so we can stop frequently in different places. I've researched on the web some of the cities in between the NYC-Boston and Boston-Montreal routes, but I want to hear your opinion on places that are worth stopping for as well as places that are worth deviating from said roads to get to know.

As we are travelling on a budget, I would like to hear your recommendations on sleeping arrangements, as we would like to avoid hotels as much as possible. Any recommendations on inexpensive hostels or motels on the road would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Kingston, Canada
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1. Re: Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

You might want to check out some of Vermont - Stowe, Burlington.

Do you plan on taking a rental car from the U.S. into Canada? Be sure that is permitted by the rental agency before locking yourself into a contract.

As an alternative to driving Megabus offers service between some of the cities you plan on visiting, and could be a very inexpensive alternative to renting a car.

You've chosen some very expensive cities to visit (with the exception of Niagara Falls), so traveling on a budget is going to be challenging. I suggest lots of research to find the best inexpensive lodging. Have you considered airbnb? You may also want to sign up for booking.com flash deals to be sent to your inbox - some great deals and secret specials on there lately.

ktown

Santiago, Chile
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2. Re: Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

Thanks for answering. I will check the places you told me!

During our stay in NYC we will be using airbnb and we also have a place to arrive to in Montreal. in any case, we will try to keep the sleeping arrangements as inexpensive as possible.

Actually, that is one of the reasons to rent a car, the fact that we won't necessarily need to sleep downtown or near the places we want to visit. So we'll try and look for good places to sleep outside the cities or on the road.

I'm not sure about what is needed to cross a rented car across borders, I'll look into it. Thanks for making that point.

Any other recommendations? Any places that are particularly worthwhile to visit during winter?

Kingston, Canada
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3. Re: Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

I can tell you that having a car in Toronto will be difficult. Parking is expensive, and traffic tends to be bad. You can stay at a hotel in the outlying areas but then you will spend a fair amount of each day going back and forth on public transit. I imagine it is the same for the other cities you will be visiting as well.

I think if you can get cheap tickets to get to/from the larger cities you will find that the hassle is much less and the price may not be that much different either. Each day you are in Toronto, Montreal and Boston your car will likely remain parked, but you still need to pay for the days rental as well as possible parking charges.

Also, not sure about the ages in your group, but those under 25 have a difficult and expensive time renting cars.

ktown

Boston...
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4. Re: Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

I can only speak to Boston, but if budget is your first priority, you may find it less expensive to stay outside the city and take the commuter rail in each day you'll visit.

If you stay in the city, hotels will be more expensive. Parking will be at least $35-40 per day. And as ktown pointed out, you won't need your car while you visit the cities, so it sits while you pay rental fees on it.

If you stay outside the city, parking will likely be free. Hotels will be less. Commuter rail rates are between +/-$15pp round trip (depending on where you ride from). You'll have to pay about $4-5 for parking at the commuter lot. It's not as convenient. So, it's a trade-off.

If you want to stay in the city, have a look on Hotline.com. They offer great deals, especially in mid-winter. You won't know which hotel it is, but if you post the details on the Boston forum, most locals will know which it is, and can offer opinions.

Edited: 13 October 2012, 01:12
West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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5. Re: Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

Hi RafaCarranza;

Driving in the winter takes genuine experience. Without considerable winter driving experience I would NOT suggest starting to learn how to drive in winter conditions, in an unfamiliar rental car, in an unfamiliar area.

I would suggest reading the Traveler Article "Winter Driving in Canada", here on TA.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g153339-c55003/Canada…

My esteemed colleague ktowntravllr has commented about the rental car and crossing the border. I would like to add...

There are some car rental companies that will not permit their cars out of the country, or charge a premium if they do. Most of the larger rental companies will allow cross border travel.

Ensure that the car rental company notes on the rental agreement that they authorize you to take the car into Canada. You may be asked by Customs when entering Canada, or when re-entering the US, for this documentation.

Some companies offer unlimited mileage, but only within the US. The rental company will use the onboard GPS to track your usage. The extra per mile charges can add up quickly, so be sure to ask in advance.

Best Regards

Perth, Australia
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6. Re: Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

Can I suggest .. .you don't need a car in NYC ... then you can get the Amtrak train to Boston...??? That will save heaps of parking fees, car rental car payments for a few days ... and the train between NYC and Boston is about $40 each one way ... and takes about 3 hours.

We stayed at the Doubletree Bayside in south Boston .. when we arrived at the train station in Boston, we rang them and they came and picked us up. Once we checked in, we went behind the hotel and walked to the JFK Presidential Museum and Library along the edge of the water .. walk is about 15 minutes ... it was an amazing place to visit.

Their courtesy van took us back into the city in the morning so we could do our touring hop on hop off bus ... they dropped us right at the starting point.

We did get the local train back to the hotel later in the day .. there is the JFK/UMass station opposite the hotel ... so we were glad we stayed there. It was a lot cheaper than staying downtown.

They have a small cafe, but had in room menus, and we ordered one of those and it was delivered to our door. And the food was great, and hot...!

On the morning we picked up the hire car, they again took us into Alamo. We couldn't fault them.

From Alamo on Atlantic Avenue, it was about 500 metres to join the I-93 freeway to head north ... so that was convenient too.

We crossed over into Canada, but had no problems ... we had to show our car rental agreement, as well as passports.

I didn't even think about telling the car company we were going to take it into Canada ... we crossed over near the Thousand Islands .. and returned back into the US on the Peace Bridge near Niagara Falls/Buffalo.

Two places I would go back to ... Woodstock in Vermont .. a beautiful town .. and the 1,000 islands. We did a cruise around the islands from Alexandria Bay in NY .. but when you go, there will be no cruises, just ice...!

But if you are heading south from Montreal, go off the Exit 137 (the sign says Hill Island Ontario) towards the border, and just before the border crossing is the Skydeck Tower .. with magnificent views over the islands. Well worth the side trip, which is about 5 minutes from the 401 freeway.

Another tip ... book a room with a view of the falls at Niagara Falls ... worth the money .. and you won't be able to take your eyes off the view.

Here are some websites...

http://www.1000islandsskydeck.com/home.php

http://www.niagarafallstourism.com/

http://www.jfklibrary.org/

http://www.trolleytours.com/boston/

http://www.woodstockvt.com/

http://www.quecheegorge.com/

When you arrive into a new state, pop into the visitor center and get free maps and coupons ... the coupons are a great help, especially with motels/hotels etc ..

The weather may play a big part in doing what you want to do .. but good luck.

Santiago, Chile
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7. Re: Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

Thank you all for your answers!

I think we'll have to discuss whether is convienent to rent a car, as ktowntravllr said, it's probably easier to travel in between cities by bus or train and we have to take into account that we'll be mostly driving in snow, as RescueTeam mentioned, and we are a group of five with only two older than 25 somaybe that's a problem in terms of renting a car.

Are there ways to take daily trips from one big city to nearby touristic places? maybe touring companies or local buses?

HappyGoin mentioned hotels in and outside the city, how much is the difference in costs in between them? Do you think that the local visitor centers have good information on convenient acommodation? I'm thinking in more in places like youth hostels rather than hotels.

Thank you Eaglemaniac for all the travelling recommendations! I'll check the places you've told as well as the acommodation in Boston and see which one are available during winter!

You've given my friends and I a lot of information to check and consider, so thanks again. Any other recommendations on places to visit or to sleep are very welcomed!

8. Re: Road Trip: NY, New England, Quebec, Ontario

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